Bert Koenders

Development Cooperation Minister

Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands

Albert Gerard (Bert) Koenders was born in Arnhem on May 28, 1958.

He studied political science at the VU University, Amsterdam (sitting his kandidaats examination in 1978) and political and social sciences at the University of Amsterdam (graduating in 1983). He received an M.A. from Johns Hopkins University, after studying at the School of Advanced International Studies in Bologna and Washington, D.C. from 1979 to 1981.

Mr. Koenders worked from 1983 to 1992 as a personal assistant to several members of the House of Representatives of the States General and as coordinating foreign policy assistant for the parliamentary Labour Party. From 1984 he was also part-time adjunct professor of international relations at Webster University in Leiden, and from 1987 part-time consultant and European director of Parliamentarians for Global Action in New York. From 1993 to 1994 he was the European staff member and political adviser to the Special Representative of the Secretary-General of the UN, working in Mozambique, South Africa, and Mexico. He was subsequently principal administrator of the policy planning staff of the Directorate-General for external relations, conflict prevention, and European Union enlargement at the European Commission in Brussels until 1997.

Since 1997, Mr. Koenders has been a member of the House of Representatives of the States General. From 2000 to 2002 he was also visiting professor of international relations at Johns Hopkins University in Bologna.

He has held numerous positions, including member of the Governing Council of the Society for International Development, first deputy chairman of the Netherlands Atlantic Association, member of the Supervisory Council of the Institute for Multiparty Democracy, president of the NATO Parliamentary Assembly, member of the French-Dutch Cooperation Council, chairman of the Steering Committee of the East-West Parliamentary Practice Project, and chair of the board of the Parliamentary Network on the World Bank.

On February 22, 2007, Mr. Koenders was appointed Minister for Development Cooperation in the fourth Balkenende government.

Focus: Development, Globalization, Governance, Security, Mexico, Mozambique, Netherlands, South Africa, Africa, Americas, Europe


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Last Updated: Sep 17, 2009

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